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Sun-Times Media closing 11 weekly Sun suburban newspapers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hwkcrz1, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. hwkcrz1

    hwkcrz1 Member

  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Only five jobs perhaps lost in this, but some of the rest of that article is pretty ominous.
  3. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    A buddy of mine works for the daily in Elgin. They're closing his office entirely and moving operations to Aurora, about 30 miles away. Haven't told the public yet.
  4. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    They did the same thing to the Naperville paper a few years ago. At least Naperville is only a few miles down the road from the east side of Aurora instead of 30.
    I knew someone who started at those weeklies in the late '90s. One of those papers - at the time called 60504 - was even featured in Editor & Publisher for its innovative style/writing/graphics/photography. Then Hollinger bought it all from Copley and the locusts soon followed.
    He told me there used to be one writer and perhaps one photographer for each weekly. By the time he left, I don't know that there were any writers or photographers working on those papers. They were a shell, and I know people had pretty much stopped reading the papers after the quality plummeted from such heights.
    I wish companies would learn from that lesson. I understand a big part of our business is the bottom line. You can't keep the lights on and doors open without money coming in, but there's more to it than just that. It's about connecting with readers, making them want to come back for more.

    I think one of the big problems for the suburban papers in the Sun-Times company is that the big paper will keep sucking them dry. The upper management at that company seems to care little for its suburban titles, even when those papers often made money while the Sun-Times was stagnant (at best).
    Obviously, I know people there, and my thoughts as always are with anyone in this business hoping for brighter days.
    But I honestly don't know if that company will be around by the end of this next decade.
  5. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    That's putting it mildly.

    Besides the current (and most likely future) job losses for fellow journalists, the depressing part to me is what this announcement says about the 11 (fairly affluent) suburban communities where the Sun weeklies were distributed.

    A publisher who hated his job once told me that newspapers don't really serve the community, they serve the wealthiest 10 percent of the community. I loathed that thought at the time, but unfortunately have come to believe he was more right than wrong.

    If the "upper 10 percent" types no longer need weekly newspapers covering their wealthy enclaves — either in print or through web sites, as was indicated in the Crain's article — then we really are in trouble.
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